Do you want to know how to cook perfect fried rice?
Fried rice is one popular and unique food in Nigeria that we mostly cook on special days, and no one wants to get it wrong.
This rice recipe is unique and loaded with tons of vegetables and spices. It’s a dish packed with nutrients and is very radiant due to the colorful veggies.
Nigerian fried rice must have stock, chicken or turkey stock, as one of the primary and essential ingredients. Even though this meal seems simple and there are different methods of cooking fried rice, some people still always get it wrong whenever they try cooking it. You might have all the veggies and spices complete for this recipe, but that does not mean you will come out with the perfect fried rice. Is there something you are not doing right? Well, you will find out in this post as we go on.
How can I get the perfect fried rice?
1. Use long-grain parboiled rice.
Before now, I always thought small-grain parboiled rice was best for fried rice because of its sweet and intense flavor, but when I tried the long grain for my fried rice, I realized that it is the best for the recipe and very easy to work with when making Fried rice. It can never go wrong; you can efficiently work with long-grain rice even when cooking any other rice recipe; it comes out perfectly and sweet.
I highly recommend the long-grain rice for perfect fried rice because it will complement the veggies more than the small-grain rice; it is firmer and won’t stick together if adequately washed. You can also use medium-grain rice if that is what you have; it works fine too.
2. Wash your rice thoroughly before using it.
Always wash the rice thoroughly before cooking it. You don’t even need to parboil if your use is already parboiled industrially. Any rice you are using for your fried rice must be washed in clean water several times until the water runs clear. It helps to remove the excess starch in the rice and also helps the rice to be less sticky or clumped together.
3. Toasting your rice in oil before cooking it.
Have you ever tried toasting your rice in little oil before cooking it? Toasting your rice in oil first until it is brown will add an intense flavor to the rice, and it requires you to continuously stir it in the oil for about 5 minutes before adding liquid. Toasting not only adds incredible rich flavor to your rice but also helps to cook it fast and consistently in the liquid. It will cook evenly and will never stick together.
Once you finish toasting, add your chicken stock to the rice and any other thing you want to add and allow to cook on low-medium heat.
4. Fry your cooked rice with the veggies in batches
Now that you have your cooked rice ready to be fried with veggies. You don’t pour the stir-fried veggies into the rice like that, but you get a large wok to fry your rice in batches. Frying your rice in batches helps your fried rice stay longer when preserving it for days, unlike when you mix your rice and veggies.
Frying in batches also helps to release some rich flavor to the rice. It is important to fry them in batches when making a large batch of fried rice, and it helps to avoid mushy rice and for the rice to last longer. Toast the rice in a large pan to ensure that all veggies are in all parts of the rice when you are done frying in batches.
5. Cut your veggies in uniform sizes
It would help if you prepped all the veggies before cooking the fried rice. Ensure all the veggies are together because you can easily miss out on a veggie unknowingly.
When cutting, ensure they are all in uniform sizes; it helps the fried rice look nice and adds to the flavor.
6. Don’t overcook your veggie
You will enjoy your fried rice better when the veggies are crunchy. Keep the heat on high and stir-fry very fast. This will give crispy goodness that you will love and make you want to ask for more.
7. Don’t over-season your fried rice.
It is good to keep the spices in the fried rice simple so that the taste doesn’t go overboard. The abundance of veggies in fried rice is enough to make the fried rice delicious. You can add shrimp and liver to the fried rice for a more subtle taste and flavor.
Add soy sauce, curry, thyme, ginger, garlic, onions, and seasoning cubes in small quantities for that extra depth of taste.
8. Use separate pans for veggies and rice.
Try to get two different woks or pans for your fried rice that will make cooking easier and give the best-fried rice result. Also, make sure everything you use for cooking your fried rice is readily available because fried rice cooks very fast.
9. Use your stock.
Adding stock or chicken broth to your fried rice will take the rice’s flavor to the next level. You don’t want to miss it for anything. Try to use chicken or turkey stock and not beef stock. Chicken stock, especially, gives that fried rice the intense flavor you need for your fried rice. Make sure your chicken stock is well seasoned, and allow the chicken to marinate well before adding liquid to it to cook it. Also, after cooking your chicken in the marinades, ensure you leave it to cool before you use the stock for your rice; this will enable the chicken to release all its juice in the liquid.
10. Serve the fried rice immediately.
To enjoy the fried rice flavor, serve it immediately after you cook it, and it will make you get the best flavor and enjoy the crispness of the fried rice. If there are any leftovers, ensure you refrigerate them immediately and don’t leave them resting for too long to avoid food-borne diseases and changes in the fried rice taste.
Read also: How To Preserve Leftover Meal.